Hello, this is Narazaki from iU Blog.
Today, my friend Sentaro Nagano, an iU student, is going to launch a programming school for iU students, so I’ve been listening to him talk about it in detail via zoom.
He is a first year iU student and currently in his second year. He is currently working on the release of “Hontabi,” a subscription service that allows users to rent and borrow paper books, and “Compeya,” a service that compiles and compares property information in an easy-to-understand manner.
He’s also featured in the current student profile on the university’s website, so if you’re interested, please check that out too!
Now let’s get down to business.
Q. Please tell me about the concept of the programming school you are thinking of starting.
First of all, I want to tell you that what I want to do is not a programming school, but a “*Shijuku”
*Private tutoring schools are educational institutions that were disrupted from the end of the Edo period to the Meiji period, and have sent many talented people out into the world. Unlike educational institutions established by the shogunate or clans, they are characterized by a strong reflection of the individuality of the school owner. Keio and Doshisha were originally private schools.
I would like to open a private school where students can learn not only the technical aspects of programming skills to the point where they can create their own prototypes, but also the ideological aspects such as what kind of services are cool and what they want to focus on.
Q. Why did you decide to open a private school?
Personally, after spending a year at iU, I felt that many students think that starting a business is the goal.
Catchy words such as “all of you start your own business,” as the president of the university calls it, have taken precedence, and the means have become the end.
I don’t remember what the class was about, but when the students were presenting their goals in life, one of them said, “I want to be rich,”
When I heard that, I felt very uncomfortable. I wondered what the criteria was for being rich, and if that was really a goal that they wanted to achieve in life. I felt very uncomfortable, and at the same time I thought they were idiots.
I don’t like the fact that there are students like that, and I don’t want to see more students like that in the future at iU.
I believe that this is due to the lack of IT experience among students.
When starting a new business, IT knowledge is essential if you don’t want to make things.
However, if you don’t have IT knowledge at the stage of creating a service, it will end up being just an idea.
At iU, we teach programming skills and how to write code, but I don’t think we teach much about the concept of what kind of service you want to create.
I like books, so I read books to learn about the conceptual aspects, but today’s students don’t read many books. I don’t think it’s a bad thing that they don’t read books, but it does mean that they need to create other opportunities to learn about ideas.
This is why I would like to share with you what I have learned through my experience at the programming school I attended in the past, and through my own experience of creating services at iU.
Q. What kind of curriculum?
Basically, we have one class every other week for two months. Students are given weekly assignments and are required to complete them.
The first assignment is “Identify three services that you think are cool, and analyze what makes them cool.
In addition to the classes and assignments, I plan to have an interview with the students once every 10 days.
I am sure that my thoughts and techniques will constantly change and grow as I attend the private school.
However, most of the time, you cannot notice the change in your thinking because it changes so slowly. Therefore, I would like to record these changes through interviews so that I can look back on them when I am finished. I believe that tracking one’s own growth and struggles is very important in order to eliminate the gap between one’s perceived growth and one’s actual ability, and I would like to be in a position to make them aware of this.
Q. What kind of student elephant is this private school aiming for?
In terms of technology, I think students should be able to make prototypes of services by themselves. I also want students to be able to understand what they want to do, what they are good at, and what they think is cool.
Q. When do you plan to open the school?
I’m planning to start in mid-April or May, after the second semester students have enrolled and have gotten used to the school.
Q. How many members are running the school? Only students?
All the members are students, one person who teaches the class and a few people who answer questions.
Q. What is the participation fee?
We are planning to charge 50,000 yen for two months. I don’t think this price is cheap at all. However, we believe that if we make it free, there is a risk that it will discourage people from joining.
The best way to motivate yourself is to have a good *sunk cost, so a little pain in the pocket is just right. We set the price at 25,000 yen per month because we felt that was the limit that would not interfere with our lives.
* Funds and effort invested in a business or activity that will not be returned even if the business or activity is withdrawn, downsized, or stopped.
However, if you are intellectually curious and have knowledge of IT, you can easily recover 50,000 yen.
When I went to a programming school, I was able to recoup the cost of the school before I graduated. I got 10,000 yen from a friend to make a website, and it didn’t take me long to do the web modification requests that were lying around on the Internet. So there’s no need to think too hard.
Q. Are only iU students allowed to participate?
Basically, that is the plan, but if anyone wants to join, please send me a DM. If you are just interested, please send a DM to me.
Lastly, what would you like to say to our readers who are iU students?
I don’t think everyone needs to become a president, and I think it is most important to find out what you like, what you think is cool, and what you are good at, and develop it. Please find out what you are good at, don’t be passive, be proactive and intellectually curious, and become a student that is unique to iU. Let’s do our best together.